*UPDATE* The good folks at BBLauncher.com have decided that $7 is too much for individual users to be paying for the service and have reduced the price to just $3, any users that have purchased a launcher under the $7 price point will be issued partial refunds for their purchases as per their 30 day satisfaction guarantee policy. Awesome and now more affordable, Bonus! *
Granted this *should* be something you can do within the native BlackBerry operating system and at
$7 $3 a pop (unlimited usage/distribution rights once you create one) the service isn't is now super cheap for individual use, but I know there's going to be a lot of BlackBerry users and abusers and businesses out there who are all over this...
A new website recently launched, BBLauncher.com, which allows you to create your own custom web browser shortcuts for your BlackBerry homescreen. The process only takes a few minutes, is pretty straight forward (just read/follow the instructions on the site and on the readme file once you receive your .zip) and it works. After first visiting BBLauncher.com I went through their process - in the screenshot above you're looking at the custom launcher I created for my BlackBerry Storm (more images after the jump). For lack of creative skills, I used pictures of myself for the two icon states, which when clicked opens the Today's BlackBerry Posts for our mobile-optimized CrackBerry forums.
Key features include:
- Support for localized titles and descriptions in all major languages supported on BlackBerry devices.
- Users can upload custom icon images (PNG or GIF) and even specify different icons for different target devices since not all devices use the same icon size.
- Support for defining custom rollover/focus icons as well.
- Support for all version 4.0 and up devices.
- Unlimited and unrestricted redistribution rights.
The custom continuous build engine developed by BBLauncher.com allows the creation and delivery of the final JAD/COD/ALX files within minutes of the user completing their payment via PayPal. When I went through the process I had my .zip in my inbox in four minutes. They include both the .alx file for Desktop Manager installation and .cod/.jad file if you want to upload it to a web server for wireless install (I show the OTA install in the screen caps).
Definitely a cool service. I couldn't help but chuckle after I installed my custom launcher. Not so long ago RIM went through a phase of 'partnerships' and press announcements where the 'apps' being launched were nothing more than these browser shortcuts. Gotta love that a little entrepreneurial drive and ingenuity can now get that done automatically in 4 minutes for
My Custom Website Launcher
Dictate all of the details: Name, Vendor, Description
Install via Desktop Manager or OTA (shown) if you upload to a server
Seems to work fine! Be sure to pay attention to OS versions, icon sizes, etc.
Upload two images - not rolled over shown
When selected a second image loads (I blued myself out)
Launch whatever URL you want in the native web browser